AN INVESTIGATION OF GENETIC DIVERSITY IN ENDANGERED POPULATIONS OF BIRCH IN IRAN BASED UPON SEQUENCING OF CHLOROPLAST MATK GENEMohammad Esmaeilpour, KambizTaheri Abkenar, Ali Aalami, Amireslam Bonyad and Mostafa Ghaderi-Zefrehei
Birches are categorized as endangered species in Iran from protection and conservation point of view. The objective of current study was to determine Irans endangered birch populations using DNA sequence polymorphism of the chloroplast matK gene. In total, samples were collected from 20 trees over 4 populations, two of populations (SiahMarzKuh and Sangdeh) belonged to Betulapendula and the rest (Shahrastanak and Marmishoo) belonged to Betulalitwinowii, representing the entire geographical range of Betulasp in Iran in 2012 year. In this research, comparative chloroplast matK gene sequences for samples of birch, three haplotypesidentified and haplotype diversity was calculated 0/47. Evaluation of genetic distances for different species of birch showed the greatest genetic distance was between Marmishoo and Sangdeh2 (0.0193). The chloroplast matK variation divided the Betula species into one clade and two groups. Secondary structure prediction of the MatK reading frame from Betulasp ended up with different helical regions, beta strands of substantial length and coil.
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